Storm brings ice, outages

Published 11:32 am Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Winter Storm Gia did not bring as much snow to the Heart of Virginia as its predecessor, Winter Storm Diego in December, but the storm brought a substantial amount of sleet and freezing rain over the weekend. The resulting ice on tree limbs and power lines caused numerous outages, downed trees and school cancellations for Lunenburg County residents.

A snowfall analysis from the National Weather Service in Wakefield estimates that the Lunenburg area received between 1-2 inches of snow.

Power company Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) estimated that at the height of the storm, nearly 11,000 of its customers were without power. SEC, over the weekend, warned customers that it may be days before power is restored.

The number of households without power in Lunenburg reached more than 1,000 over the weekend between SEC and Dominion Energy.

As of 7 a.m. Tuesday, SEC estimated there were approximately 1,200 customers in the region without power. The company is working with mutual aid crews to restore power.

As of Tuesday morning, the Virginia Department of Transportation reported road conditions in Lunenburg as clear, with the exception of Route 1002, Eighth Street, which is closed due to a downed tree.

Virginia State Police reported that during the course of the storm, or from midnight to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, crews responded to 324 traffic crashes and assisted 196 disabled/stuck motorists statewide, not to mention the 44 traffic crashes and 11 disabled vehicles studied as of the time that the release was issued.

There were three crashes over the weekend that resulted in fatalities, including the death of a 16-year-old passenger in Brunswick County.

According to findings from VSP, these are the number of traffic crashes and disabled vehicles state police troopers responded by division. The Appomattox Division includes Lunenburg County:

Richmond Division: 107 traffic crashes & 29 disabled vehicles

Culpeper Division: 40 traffic crashes & 30 disabled vehicles

Appomattox Division: 28 traffic crashes & 13 disabled vehicles

Wytheville Division: 12 traffic crashes & 4 disabled vehicles

Chesapeake Division: 49 traffic crashes & 21 disabled vehicles

Salem Division: 18 traffic crashes and 18 disabled vehicles

Fairfax Division: 68 traffic crashes and 81 disabled vehicles

Victoria Fire & Rescue Chief Rodney Newton said that crews responded to a few calls over the weekend for trees on power lines, and one vehicle accident that involved a vehicle and a tree. Newton estimated that emergency medical services calls were typical for the weekend. He said the call load was lighter than it could have been.